I stand to use my long, varied experience to build on Hamilton’s Strengths.
I’ve been active in the community for over 25 years. My journey has taken me from the early days as Chair of the Kindy Committee to being Chair of the Knighton Normal School Board of Trustees, through to Chair of Waikato Regional Council. I am now Chair the Community, Services and Environment committee of Council.
I’ve spent 6 years on the Policy and Advisory Group of Local Government NZ. I have strong relationships with current Mayors across the Waikato, our Members of Parliament and Business Leaders. We all know how much relationships matter in making progress.
I stand up for all of our people, for communities and business
I am passionate about public participation in Council decision making. I spend a lot of time at community events working alongside people – and not just in election years, but all of the time.
For over 20 years I’ve been a champion for looking after our natural and green spaces, the water quality in our river and the safe disposal and recycling of waste. I’m well known for my part in setting up Hamilton Halo project that brought Tui back to the City; a project that Hamiltonians love and battling for recycling of disposed tyres. I’ve also been a strong voice for buses, bikes and walking.
For many years I have worked hard alongside our youth, seniors, ethnic communities and iwi to support them and the amazing work they do. I love it.
Understanding the barriers and opportunities for business, the local and regional economy has also been a strong focus for me, through my work with Waikato Means Business, the Mayoral Forum and more.
I stand to positively promote our city and seek opportunities
I am passionate about Hamilton. I grew up and raised a family here. I live here with my husband Greg, and we love it!
I value our green spaces, our special public spaces, our fabulous events. I love the libraries, parks, river walks, pools and the zoo. I’ll always speak up for proper care of our special community places. Waterworld, Lake Waikwhakareke/Zoo, Libraries, Playgrounds and Community funding are some of the community outcomes I've pushed for and am most proud of.
People know me as someone who participates whole heartedly in city life, who joins in, who positively promotes Hamilton. I'm approachable, friendly and love it when people take time to talk with me.
I love this city and its people. I’ve lived here for 40 years with my family. Our best days are ahead of us. With over 25 years in community, regional, national and local government leadership, I am ready to lead Hamilton to a better future for all.
- Paula Southgate